Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Running the TITAN Client in Linux

TITAN is about sharing data and even brings a lot of the DNA from social networking websites into the realm of geospatial data sharing. The value of a social network lies in the number of people who are able to access it and participate in discussion. Linux OS is frequently used for a variety of scientific applications which produce geospatial data. So given these facts we wanted to see if the TITAN Client would run on Linux, and begin to include the community of geospatial people using Linux on the client side.

The short answer is yes, the TITAN Client will run in Linux, but it has a prerequisite. In whatever distribution of Linux you have running, you will need to have access to the Windows API within Linux. The most common way to do this is to have Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) installed. Wine is a translation layer that has been around since 1993 and allows Windows programs to be run on a Linux machine natively, not through an emulator which usually affects memory and processor usage. You can get more information about Wine from its official website, Wine HQ. There you can find instructions on how to get Wine running on your Linux machine and also how to install Windows programs through Wine, which you’ll need since the TITAN installer is Windows-only.

We went through that process using the Ubuntu distribution of Linux and successfully got TITAN running, which you can see in the screenshot below.


The process was pretty painless, which we were expecting since most of the libraries used to build TITAN originated in Linux. If you’d like to see TITAN running in Linux, but don’t want to take the time to install Linux on a spare computer, we’ve provided a virtual machine instance of the same Ubuntu Linux we used to install TITAN. To run this, you’ll need to install either VMware Player or Server (which you can download or get more information from here - http://www.vmware.com/products/player/) and download the virtual machine from our FTP Server. If you have access to an FTP client, you can go to ftp.nvs-inc.com and log in with the user name and password of "titan." If you want a direct link to the file, you can use ftp://titan:titan@ftp.nvs-inc.com/TITANLinux.zip. The file is compressed down to 952 mb and takes up a little more than 2 gb when it's completely uncompressed, so it will take a while to download and also take up a pretty big chunk of hard drive space.

Once you’ve downloaded the zip file and extracted its contents, double-click the file named Ubuntu.vmx and VMWare should start up. You may be asked if you moved the Virtual Machine (VM), say “yes” and everything should load up just fine. The login user name and password for Ubuntu are both "user." There’s a shortcut on the desktop to start TITAN, so double-click that and you’re using TITAN in Linux (you’ll need to provide your TITAN login credentials, though).

And if you have any doubts of TITAN running in Linux, here’s a bit of trivia: the TITAN developer is named Lennox, so it should automatically work anyway. Next, we’ll try and get TITAN running on a Mac!



This article was co-written by Joel Lawhead and Joel Herr of NVision Solutions, Inc.

Joel Lawhead is the CIO of NVision Solutions, Inc. and has been involved in GIS since late 2000.

Since 2003, Joel Herr has worked for NVision Solutions, Inc., first as a GIS Analyst and currently as a GIS Specialist. He works heavily in analysis, training, production, and web application development.

NVision Solutions, Inc. is a small, disadvantaged, minority, woman-owned certified 8(a) firm specializing in advanced geospatial solutions and powerful web applications. NVision Solutions, Inc. has also assisted in several ERDAS TITAN installations and has selected it for use in emergency management and disaster recovery. NVision is headquartered at the Stennis Technology Park in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. For more information about NVision Solutions, Inc., visit www.nvisionsolutions.com.

3 comments:

Amy Zeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kishor Gupta said...

Hi,
After some struggles, i am able to install Titan client.But i am not able to open client it is giviing error as "Runtime error as an application has made an attempt to load the c runtime library incorrectly"...what may be the reason for this error. let me know.

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